Some Items of Civil War Interest

Sometimes if I wait long enough to write the weekly blog post, a series of unconnected pieces will fall together into something like a theme. Sometimes not. I'll have to let you be the judge. (Last week's post lists events on the Trails of History this month.)

Col. John J. Carter, courtesy of Drake Well Museum

In late June, I had an email from Sue Beates, curator at Drake Well Museum, about some visiting researchers:
Yesterday, Drake Well was honored to host five researchers from Penn State University’s Richards Center Civil War Digitization Project. They spent all day going through the best of the museum’s Civil War related collections to compile the metadata needed to list the collections on their website. They also evaluated the rarity, research importance and condition for possible digitization in the next phase of their project. The metadata should be posted on their website this fall. Of particular interest was the Col. John J. Carter Collection. Carter, a Medal of Honor recipient, came to Titusville as a merchant in 1865 and became an important oil tycoon. The Carter Oil Company was absorbed by Exxon Mobil in the middle of the 20th century.

Drake Well's Civil War era collections include a cane that belonged to John Wilkes Booth (who spent some time in the oil region).

Tomorrow evening (July 12), Somerset Historical Center has a program called "Between the Lines," featuring readings from Civil War diaries, letters, and newspapers. The experiences of Somerset County soldiers and the families they left at home will be brought to life through their own words. According to Clark Brocht, past commander of the Mt. Union Church Camp, Sons of the Union Veterans,"The War affected everyone, young and old alike, and what makes these stories unique, is that they are from people who once walked in the same places we do today.” Costumed volunteers and staff (many of them descended from Civil War veterans) will be on hand and the Berlin Fife and Drum Corps will provide lively period music as well. The program takes place at St. Paul's Presbyterian Church in Somerset. Admission is $15 ($12 for members of the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County). Tickets will be available at the door, or you can call 814/445-6077.

Okay, so I wasn't able to make this one fit the Civil War theme, but one of you clever readers can probably do it. This past weekend was the annual Bark Peelers Convention at the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum and they've posted some pictures on Facebook. Looks like a great time!


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